'Bill in Congress enhances India's N-potential' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Bill in Congress enhances India's N-potential'

A senior US Democrat said the bill introduced in the Congress only increases India's potential for driving up its nuclear arsenal.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2006 00:30 IST

Ahead of fine tuning of the enabling law in US Congress to implement the nuclear deal with India, a senior Democrat member of the House International Relations Committee has said the bill introduced in the Congress only increases the potential for India driving up its nuclear arsenal.

Participating through teleconference in a symposium organised by the Arms Control Association, Howard Berman from California said the accord did little to curb India's fissile material production and the Bill, introduced in the Congress, only increases the potential for India driving up its nuclear arsenal.

He said "I challenge the assertion" of the Bush administration that the agreement with India "constituted a strategic net plus for non-proliferation."

Berman, however, made it clear that he is not opposed to "appropriate" nuclear energy cooperation with India but said he has "serious concerns" on how the present Indo-US agreement has been structured.

The California Congressman listed five priorities that he will persist at the mark-up, the process of fine tuning of the enabling legislation:

(1) A requirement that India halt its fissile material production; (2) Congress should have authority to amend the nuclear 123 agreement with affirmative vote; (3) the agreement that India strikes with the International Atomic Energy Agency on safeguards must be consistent with IAEA practices; (4) A clear termination language in the event of further testing and (5) All third party transfers to India should be consistent with American laws.